Too frequently, our prayers are general and lack careful thought or Biblical arguments. “Lord, bless Johnny and keep him safe today. In Jesus’ name, Amen. There is nothing wrong with praying for God’s blessing on our son or daughter or asking God to protect him or her. However, our prayers often stop there. They lack specificity that should arise from our loving and careful observation of our children. They also lack our intentional and meditative consideration of the particular traits that are part of who our child is and is becoming. What are his or her struggles, strengths, and weaknesses? We need to be as dedicated to prayer as an attorney is to the case that he desires to win. As we earnestly come before our Heavenly Father, He helps us know what and how to pray for our children. We want to consider what He would say about our child and ourselves. As we pray with the Bible open before us God speaks to us through His Word. We will in this manner increase our knowledge of Him, ourselves and our children. Jesus knew firsthand the necessity of prayer. We need to know it as well.
We are promised in Proverbs 22:6: “if we train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it. Chuck Swindoll’s interpretation of “in the way he should go means more than training our children in spiritual virtues. It means discovering their particular calling or “bent. What has God placed in our child’s personality? What are his or her abilities? What is the “bent of his or her heart and mind reflecting his or her peculiar gifts? We as parents need to look for his or her “bent and pray this into reality, so that when he or she grows older, he or she will answer God’s call and be used for His glory.
God has given us covenant promises concerning our home and our children. A covenant has two parts, blessings and curses. God tells us if we obey His precepts and keep His commandments, He will bless not only us but also our children. However, if we do not obey Him, not only we parents, but also our children and future generations, will be cursed instead of blessed. (Genesis 9:9, 17:7, 18:19, Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 103, Luke 1:50, 72-75, Acts 2:39, 1 Corinthians 7:14)
All parents have had fears about losing their children, as when walking in a crowded mall or their innocently wandering away from home. We have worried about accidents that might potentially affect them and sometimes fear their moving far away. This often arises because we fear that we will not see them or our grandchildren as much as we would like. From the time they are infants, we should pray for God’s will in their lives and that He would use them for His glory. That may mean that He will call them to be missionaries in a foreign country. It may mean that God will choose to call them home to heaven at a young age. In any case, we must remember that they are the Lord’s. Our prayers for them should reflect that truth. We must entrust our children back to God. They can be in no better hands.
It is never too early to begin praying for a godly spouse for your child, a life’s partner who would walk with him or her in the faith and be an encouragement to his or her growth in grace. If God has not called your son or daughter to be single, the most important human relationship he or she will have in life is the one in which Christ’s relationship with His bride, the Church, is to be reflected. Marriage is ideally a testimony of the way Christ loves us and sacrificed Himself for His people (Ephesians 5:21-33). Parents know personally how important the relationship of husband and wife is to every other relationship, and to the joy and fulfillment of life. Earnestly asking God to show your son or daughter the best tools of godly discernment in choosing a marriage partner is a critical element in seeking the righteousness of not only your “child but also his or her children (Psalm 103:17-18). Our children and their children are a treasured object of God’s covenant promises to believing parents. We parents bear a vital responsibility in the development of our children’s discernment in the choosing of a life’s partner. This partner will be the father or mother of our grandchildren, as well as our “child’s most intimate companion for his or her life. Our praying for this from conception onward will cause your heart and mind to be attuned at the appropriate times to those specific godly truths you can teach and exemplify in helping them grasp and treasure romance, marriage, and family.
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